Originally created 05/08/00

Davies hangs on for two-stroke victory

AUSTIN, Texas -- Laura Davies watched the scoreboard and wondered when she would lose her lead at the Philips Invitational.

Luckily, no one made a charge to keep her from another career milestone.

Davies shot a 2-over-par 72 Sunday but held on for a two-stroke victory over Dottie Pepper, the 60th win of her international career and 19th in 12 years on the LPGA Tour.

"Sixty is nice. Hopefully 70 will be even better, but that's a long way off," said Davies, wearing the cowboy hat awarded to the tournament champion.

The English star won $127,500 for her second victory of the year. She needs just three more points in the LPGA's scoring system for automatic qualification to the Hall of Fame.

The second annual tournament, a tribute to former Austin resident Harvey Penick, drew just a handful of the tour's top players in 1999 but had most of the top players this year.

Even with the impressive field, Davies played the most consistent week of golf in windy conditions with low, laser-like long irons off the tees and a solid short game.

While Davies never pulled her driver out of the bag, only eight others players were good enough in the wind to finish under par on the narrow 6,101-yard Onion Creek Club.

"Two over par doesn't sound like a great score, but conditions were tough," Davies said.

Pepper started the day back in the pack at seven strokes off the lead and struggled early in falling to two over on the front nine.

After closing with three birdies over the final six holes for a 67, she watched from the clubhouse for an hour as her score kept moving her up the leaderboard.

Penick, who died in 1995, was considered one of golf's greatest instructors. His pupils included two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw; U.S. Open winner Tom Kite; Kathy Whitworth, winner of 88 tournaments; Mickey Wright; and Betsy Rawls.


Bruce Fleisher won his third Senior PGA Tour event of the season Sunday, making a birdie on the third playoff hole to beat Hubert Green and retain his Home Depot Invitational title at TPC at Piper Glen in Charlotte.

Fleisher, who closed with a 68, is the only player on the 50-and-over circuit to win more than once this year. He earned $195,000 with the victory to move within $17,000 of $1 million.

Fleisher and Green each matched the tournament record with 13-under-par 203 finishes. Bob Murphy, Lee Trevino and Don Bies also share that 54-hole mark.

Both players birdied and parred the first two playoff holes before Fleisher hit a 90-yard approach shot to 3 feet on the par-5 18th hole. Green missed his 12-foot birdie putt just left and Fleisher -- after backing away once -- sank his short one for the win.


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